Monday, April 28, 2014


I watched another Spielberg movie last night...Lincoln.  5/5 from me.   What I found interesting was the role that both U.S. political parties played back then.  The Democrats were the bad boys opposing legislation freeing the slaves whilst the Republicans were for the legislation.  In today’s political scene, their roles now seem reversed.

Ukraine is out of the news today as is the search for the lost Malaysian passenger jet.

I have no doubt that Russia will seize the rest of Ukraine in the not too distant future and eventually the sanctions will be forgotten.  Uncle Jay sums it up here.

The lost plane has shown no debris and ‘Pings’ from the Black Box have ceased. Suggestions that the plane may have landed somewhere are coming back.  Hmn.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Empire of the Sun

I don’t think Spielberg has made a dud movie.  This evening I watched ‘Empire of the Sun’.   I have seen bits of it before, but never the whole movie.

The main character Christian Bail was wonderful and John Malkovich in his usual; what can I his Malkovich , type-cast devious/sinister character was superb.

Age gives us a different look at such movies, and I guess everything; and I teared up at the high drama.     That is not unusual for me at 74.  Age heightens the emotions and if it doesn’t for you, then you are pretty hard. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I have a couple of Macs which are not working. One is a G5 Tower.  It is a massive machine...solid aluminium case and all the fruit.  Unfortunately the power supply is U/S and I cannot find a replacement one to get it working again.

This model is popular with ‘Hackintosh’ builders who refit them with powerful PC innards.  I advertised it for free on a site and within 5 minutes of it appearing, had two calls for it.  I had to immediately take the advert down as more calls were coming in.
                                                        Mac G5 Tower

Nice machine which these days is often replaced by a Mac Mini which can do most of the work the G5 can do.

                                                          Mac Mini

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Good Friday was a complete shutdown with only a few small stores opening.   The Spudshed was able to be open because it is sited on Commonwealth land at Jandakot airport.

Saturday saw the usual mad rush to buy at shopping centres around this state and almost certainly the other states of Aus as well.   It was as though news had just broken about WW3 about to start and everyone was laying in emergency supplies.  

OK; I was at our local shopping centre as well.

News from the Ukraine has slowed down and, to me, it looks like Russia will do an Anschluss to join more or all of Ukraine with itself.  Russia recently increased the price of gas sold to Ukraine by around 80%. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


My daughter Helen and hubby James rang to say they were visiting with a present for me.  It turned out to be a chiminea.  We assembled it and charged it up with firewood and it is going to be great for the outdoors in winter.   Helen also brought over a nice range of food for a surprise dinner....Oysters Kilpatrick, Chicken Kebabs and King Prawns washed down with copious drinks.   Great!

Searching through cupboards and drawers looking for family photographs, I found a newspaper clipping detailing the methods local police used to catch the murderers of a young drug addicted prostitute around 1989.  She was bashed by a couple and was about to front court as a witness/victim.    The couple along with another young man that I had taught in high school were concerned that they may be jailed for the bashing, contracted another fellow to kill the girl with a heroin ‘hotshot’.  He accepted the job for the fee of just $200. 

The killer lured her to a cheap motel room with the promise of heroin and cash.  He gave her a large hit of heroin but when she didn’t die, he rang the three to tell them she was still alive.  They came to the motel and my ex student tried to suffocate her with a pillow, but when that didn’t work one of them stood on her neck until she died.  They arranged the body to look like a self administered overdose.   The cops got some DNA in the bathroom and after extensive phone tapping arrested the killer who gave up the others for a shorter sentence.  They are still all in prison.  The girl’s mother was sad that her daughter would be remembered as just a drug addicted prostitute.   Her life certainly went cheaply.

I got along well with that ex student of mine and a couple of times over the years thought of visiting him in prison, but each time I realised that I would have probably left him in disgust.  Over my many years teaching I have ‘taught’ a few bad boys.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Papua New Guinea oldies

I have just returned from a gathering of Papua New Guinea expatriates held at the Airforce Association estate at Bullcreek, W.A.    The estate has a number of multi-story units housing retirees as well as a comprehensive aircraft museum.  Today’s gathering had a couple of guests; the Papua New Guinea Consul General and his wife as well as the President of the PNGAA (Papua New Guinea Association of Australia). 

I arrived early and noticed a Papua New Guinea couple looking lost, so I greeted them and we had a look at the aircraft museum whilst waiting for the gathering to commence.
The Consul was  fascinated by the planes and had stories about those which were common in PNG aviation.   That gave us time to talk at length before he had to perform his consular duties at the gathering.  Interesting couple!  I would love to talk more to them about our time in PNG.

The Consul brought a lot of presentation neckties emblazoned with the PNG coat of arms.  I haven’t worn a tie in 25 years, but I thought I’d take one for an auspicious occasion....if ever I go to one.

Lots of very old people there and it made me feel positively spritely at 74 years.  The lunch was OK and the drinks were ‘club price’.  Not a bad day!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Oscar for Oscar?

Oscar Pistorius is sure to be nominated for his wonderful performance in the court-room drama filmed in South Africa (Sith Efriker).   His tearful all-of-a-sudden sorrow should even give him a chance at winning an Oscar.  His lawyer is also a bit of a star.  Oscar’s neighbors heard his girlfriend Reeva screaming as she was being shot, but the lawyer claims that when Oscar gets excited he squeals like a girl.  Makes sense!    He may well get off scot-free.

I am an eBay nut and buy stuff regularly from Australia and China.  Items on eBay originating from U.S.A. and Britain always seem to have extortionate postage costs, where stuff from within Aus and from China are often post free.  My latest purchase was a digital vernier caliper from China.  It is well made and very accurate and cost the princely sum of $18 delivered to my front door.   These would usually sell for up to $100 if made in Britain or the U.S..

So much for manufacturing in Australia and the U.S..

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oldtimers Disease?

Today I went to West Perth to have a consultation with my Financial Advisor.  West Perth is the financial district of Perth and the car bays are larger than other areas around Perth to accommodate Jaguars, Bentleys, Cadillacs etc.  I liked it; my Hyundai i45 was so easy to park.
Mike, my FA, met me and told me that he had booked me in for tomorrow, Thursday. I told him that  I had written down exactly what his secretary had told me over the phone and here I was. He apologised for her and we did a short review of my finances and I was pleased that over the last two years my superannuation fund has made and average of 16%.    We discussed plans for my demise and the  dispersion of my assets to our children.
When I returned home I found a large note stuck on the fridge saying ... Mike Lee Thursday 10th.    Today is wednesday.   Oldtimers’ Disease!

A longtime friend is having problems with his PC.  He has somehow downloaded lots of ‘fixit’ programs and they pop up asking for payment etc which drives him mad.  He asked if I had a Mac which may not suffer from this problem.  I set one up at his house, but at his age he is finding the change to a different computer system difficult and today I brought his PC home and visited my mate Rob who is a wizard on both systems to help me cleanup the PC.  Tomorrow I will take back my Mac and set up his PC, all clean and I hope, working to his satisfaction.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Still nothing on MH370

Our daughter Helen has just been granted permanency with the Western Australian Education Department.  She has been teaching within the dept for 8 years, and at last has been able to satisfy the requirements to get the official letter of permanency by teaching a full year at a hard to staff school.  I have previously mentioned the other ways to get permanency which basically rely on doing country service for two years minimum.    She is very happy that now she can join the pool of permanent staff to apply for schools nearer to home.

Last night I caught up with two cousins for dinner. We did a family run-down of the last 20 or so years.  Great meal with lots of laughs. Thanks Christine.

The Chinese government has been rather nasty to Malaysia about the sketchy details of the lost aircraft.  Chinese relatives of the Chinese passengers have been staging protests and accusing the Malaysian government of some sort of coverup.  The acting Minister of Transport in Malaysia has been fielding much of the abuse from Chinese nationals and their government.  The acting Minister has been most apologetic and last week mentioned that he had noticed the more dignified showing of grief from the relatives of Australians who were lost along with other passengers.   Today it seems that the Chinese government has realised that their stance may damage relations with Malaysia

The headline on

CHINA has called MH370 relatives ‘radical’, swinging into damage control over its deteriorating relationship with Malaysia.

I have read a detailed conspiracy theory about the crashed aircraft.  It is too silly to give it space on this blog.  Even so, thousands of people will believe it. 

Google Twin Towers Conspiracy and there are around 1,580,000 articles to read there giving both sides of the argument.